As a business, it’s likely you have a couple of social media channels set up.
It makes sense right – you’re told to reach out to your audience and interact with them where they hang out, so it’s a no-brainer.
But the issue a lot of businesses face is turning those fans into buyers, especially on platforms like Facebook where the ultimate purpose is to be social, not to buy.
You know that social media is important, but if you’re investing time and effort into building a following, you need to makes sure you have a strategy in place to maximise ROI and actually get customers.
Sure, you might be putting out awesome content every day, but are you directly generating customers from it?
Chances are, you’re not using Facebook as effectively as you could be using it to land more leads and more customers, so we’re going to look at a few ways you can turn your fans into customers.
Businesses reported that improved sales were lowest on the list of benefits of social media marketing – probably because they’re weren’t going about it in the right way. Image source.
How Facebook Fits into the Customer Buying Cycle
First of all, let’s take a quick look at the customer buying cycle. If you want to turn fans into customers, you need to know what the customer process looks like. It can seem complicated, but it’s simply a series of stages that consumers go through before they make a purchase.
Facebook can be a part of any stage, and you can cater to your fans depending on where they are in the cycle.
1: Awareness – this is when a consumer first becomes aware of your product or, alternatively, this could be when they first become aware of a need they have. On Facebook, this might be via a Facebook ad, sees a piece of content you share or when the customer discovers your Facebook page.
2: Consideration – this is when a customer starts researching and looking at different solutions to their need or problem. On Facebook, this might look like a series of blog posts that handle their objections or sharing a product that solves their problems.
3: Purchase – this is when they actually hit that buy button and make a purchase.
The different stages of the consumer buying process and what content you might put out at each stage. Image source.
A lot of businesses use Facebook in the awareness stage. They target customers via ads and they move them through to the consideration stage with follow-up ads or content on their FB page. Alternatively, they use Facebook to get people on their email list, where they then run a nurture sequence (more about this later).
If the people you’re targeting are already fans, you can post links to products that provide a solution to your customers who are in the consideration stage of the process and push for the sell.
Develop Lead Magnets and Nurture Sequences
Consumers are no longer passive in the marketing process. In fact, they can smell a freshly-oiled marketing message a mile off, and are more likely to buy from brands who they trust and have some kind of relationship with.
This is great for Facebook, because you know your followers already have an interest in your brand because, well, they follow you. But how can you get them to that next level?
There are three steps in this process: details, value, nurture.
First and foremost, you want to get your followers’ email addresses. Even though they’re following you on Facebook, you don’t have complete access to them. Facebook’s algorithm only shows certain posts to certain people, meaning a lot of fans will miss what you’re publishing.
As you can see here, Facebook page reach is declining rapidly by the month. Image source.
Email, on the other hand, isn’t hit and miss.
You can reach your followers directly in their inboxes, which they likely check every day, meaning they won’t miss something you’re offering and can get a more personal experience from you.
But in order to get their email addresses, you need to give them something in return (remember, consumers are no longer passive in the whole marketing game).
In order to grab their email addresses, you need to provide value, value, value. The more value you can provide, the more likely you are to convert your fans into customers.
People love free things but, more than that, they love free things that help them solve a problem or get past a struggle.
Create a lead magnet that taps into their biggest problem and will help them solve it. In order to get the lead magnet, your fans have to hand over their email addresses.
A lead magnet can be anything from:
– A checklist of things people need to do before an important event
– A three-video course introducing them to a new concept in their industry
– A short e-book that covers a major problem and offers some actionable steps for them to take
– Anything that they can actively read or watch that adds value to their experience with your brand or business
An example of digital marketing expert, Neil Patel’s webinar lead magnet.
Once they’ve devoured your lead magnet, you don’t want to cut communication there. Oh no.
Instead, you want to input those who nabbed your value offering into a nurturing email sequence.
This can be a series of 5-7 emails that take subscribers through the customer buying cycle. Here’s an example sequence:
Awareness Stage (1-2 emails): Here, you can include downloads to whitepapers, links to blog posts, free checklists and free videos. You can encourage your FB fans to sign up by offering free stuff in the first couple of emails.
Consideration Stage (2-3 emails): In this stage, you can offer webinars, case studies, success stories, and comparisons to tackle any objections people might have to buying from you and to educate them on your product.
Decision Stage (1-2 emails): Finally, you want to hit your subscribers with the sell. In these emails, you might want to offer a free trial, a discovery call, a demo, or a discount code.
According to research, it takes 7 touchpoints for someone to buy, meaning it’s not enough to simply share a lead magnet with them and then hope they’ll buy from you afterwards.
Nurture sequences work for a number of reasons:
– They keep you at the forefront of your followers’ minds, because you’re connecting with them regularly
– They introduce the concept of your business and product in a non-intrusive way
– They don’t feel like marketing, because they are personalised in an email format
Target Fans at the ‘Decision’ Stage with Facebook Ads
Facebook ads can be an effective way to target people who already visit your site or who are fans of your Facebook page.
Remember, the organic reach of Facebook pages is dwindling, so now you might only reach 10% of your audience instead of the 100% you really need.
This is where Facebook ads can be really useful.
Not only can you use the laser-focused targeting options to really hone in on fans who are at a certain stage of the buying cycle, but you can remarket to people who have interacted with your brand before (and, therefore, are already partway through the awareness to purchase cycle).
Let’s look at some key ways you can use Facebook Ads to turn your fans into customers.
Target Your Fans
When setting up a Facebook ad, you have the option to target people who follow your Facebook page. It might seem unnecessary to target people who are already following you, but remember the sneaky Facebook algorithm.
What’s more, when you set up an ad to go out to these people, it will constantly come up in their newsfeed (acting as several different touch points with just one strategy). Here are some ways you can use FB ads to target your fans:
1: Create custom audiences of people who have engaged with posts on your page or have watched 50% of a video and target them with a free download. These people are already passed the awareness stage and know your brand, so they will be more likely to take action.
2: Create ad funnels where you target your fans with a specific blog post or video then, once they’ve seen this, you can target them with a product link or a free demo.
Remarket to People Who Know You
If you don’t have a large Facebook following, you can target your ads to go out to people who have visited your website or certain pages on your website.
The handy Facebook Pixel tracks the IP addresses of fans who have landed on, say, a specific product on your website, and then serves them ads reminding them about that product.
These people already know who you are (and therefore have already passed the Awareness stage of the buying cycle), but they might just need a nudge in the right direction.
What Ads Should You Put Out There?
The great thing about remarketing and serving ads to people who are already fans is that these aren’t cold audiences.
They already know who you are and don’t need to be introduced to you. However, they might be firmly stuck in the consideration stage and be checking out other options before they buy – hence why it’s important to really consider what you’re advertising on Facebook.
Now, you could go straight in and advertise your product in the hopes that your fans are almost into the Purchase stage of the cycle.
This works well if you’re running a remarketing campaign, because you can actively target people who have visited certain product pages or have taken certain actions on your site to show that they are ready to buy.
Quick tip: You can add a Facebook Pixel to the shopping cart of your website so, when people don’t check out, you can target them with the specific products they were about to buy. This gives them the nudge they need to move from the Consideration stage to the Purchase stage.
A Lead Magnet
Alternatively, you can revert back to the trusty lead magnet.
Remember, people love free value, so a lead magnet is more likely to convert that outright pitching a product to your fans via an ad.
Secret Blogger’s Business serves an ad for people to sign up and get a free blog planner and attend a free workshop.
Again, you’d set up your ad to divert people to a landing page where they hand over their email addresses in exchange for the lead magnet.
Then, they’re entered into the nurture sequence, where you help them overcome any objections they might have in the Consideration stage of the buying process and move them into the Purchase stage.
The two methods we’ve talked about here focus on creating relationships with your fans in order to push them through the buying cycle into the Purchase stage.
But what about if you want to make some quick sales from your fans?
You know they’re interested in you, because they’re following you. But maybe they don’t know exactly what you’re offering. Or maybe they just need reminding that you’re there and have something to offer them.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are a couple of quick ways you can generate sales.
Offer Promo Codes
Promo codes might not be the most creative or imaginative marketing technique in the world – but they work.
Essentially, you’re giving your Facebook fans a cheeky discount on your product because, well, they’re your fans.
Take, for example, a fan who might be on the edge about buying your product, but they’re in the Consideration stage of the cycle, so they’re still hunting around.
When they see you’re offering a discount code especially for them, that might just be the thing they need to tip them over the edge into the Purchase stage.
Before you go ahead and generate your discount code and put it out there to your fans, you firstly want to demonstrate the value that your product has.
Simply throwing out a money-off coupon or a discount code might not be enough to tip people over the edge if they don’t know exactly what it is you’re selling and how it’ll benefit them.
So, when you promote your discount code to your fans, direct them to a landing page where you can list the benefits of your product and how it will solve their specific problem. When they checkout, they simply have to enter their discount code and voila! You have a new customer.
The great thing about discount codes is that they tend to lead to repeat customers. When someone has already bought from you, they’re more likely to buy from you again, so by giving them a sneak peek with a discount, you’re essentially opening yourself up to considerably more sales in the future.
Host a Live Video
Facebook Live has revolutionised selling on Facebook. Why? Because it offers an authentic way to pitch a product.
According to the Online Publishers Association, 46% of users take some sort of action after watching a video, and the whole “Live” aspect means you’re basically talking to them in-person, in-the-moment, which builds trust and loyalty.
At the end of the video, you can put out a very specific call-to-action to encourage people to buy right then and there. Again, you could use a discount code or, alternatively, simply direct them to a full sales page that highlights the benefits of your product.
Benefit Cosmetics regularly put out Facebook Live videos to interact with their fans and promote new products.
The key to turning your fans into customers is to provide them with the information they need at each stage of the cycle.
The reason ads and lead magnets work so well is because they touch on all three stages.
In the Awareness stage, fans are shown something of value where they’re introduced to a specific concept and your business.
Then they move into the consideration stage, where you nurture them to remain at the front of their mind and to continue showing value that puts you above other businesses.
Lastly, you tip them over the edge into the Purchase stage by pitching the benefits of your product and how it will specifically help them solve their problems.
Turning your Facebook fans into paying customers is simply a case of knowing where your fans are in the buying cycle and providing them with content that guides them into the next stage.
Facebook ads can help create awareness for people who might not know you already, while a nurture sequence or follow up content on Facebook takes people from the Consideration stage into the Purchase stage.